Opting for high-fat plant foods like avocados, coconuts, and nut butters is one way to meet your keto macros on a vegetarian ketogenic diet. Making sure you're eating high-quality protein is also important. But one of the biggest concerns on a vegetarian ketogenic diet is omega-3 fatty acids intake. These essential nutrients are difficult to obtain on plant-based diets, so make sure to eat foods rich in this fatty acid or go for supplements.
If you feel like everything is off limits, we're here to help. Yes, following a keto diet when you're vegan is difficult...but not impossible! You may not be living off bacon and eggs like some of your other keto friends, but with these avocado, almond butter, and coconut milk-filled recipes, your stomach will still be full and happy. And if you're vegan-ish, be sure to check out our vegetarian keto recipes too, for those times you want to slip in a little dairy.
Dr. Axe recommends getting no more than 20 percent of your daily calories from plant-based sources of proteins, since eating too much protein will interfere with ketosis. “Most beans and legumes will contribute too many carbs to your diet and too little protein,” he says. “The best sources of low-carb protein are plant-based protein powders (like hemp, brown rice, or pea protein) and fermented soy products like tempeh.” Other plant-based sources of protein in your diet can include nutritional yeast, nuts and seeds, and even vegetables.
If you’re longing for carbs so badly that you feel your resolve to stay on the diet is breaking, it’s possible to trick your brain that you’re eating them by making approved foods look more like your starchy favorites. Cauliflower can be grated into “rice,” or boiled and mashed like potatoes. You can slice zucchini into noodles to (sort of) replicate pasta. See “Vegan Substitutions for the Keto Diet” below.
For this reason, it is best to buy RSPO-certified or Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) products. The companies that produce these products are approved by the RSPO (the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) for using sustainable practices that meet strict environmental and social criteria. By opting for RSPO-certified or CSPO products, you will be casting a vote for sustainable oil producers that are dedicated to protecting the environment.
Walking felt like the easiest change to make, so I started going out near my home for just 10 minutes a day on a local trail along a river. Being in nature was key. Gradually, I increased from 10 minutes to 2 hours a day and added hilly hikes on the weekends. While I strolled, I listened to podcasts and soaked up the scenery. My cholesterol and blood pressure are now in healthy ranges—without medication. It's wild how much I've changed, not just physically but emotionally too. I remember trying to hike when I was heavy—my knees hurt and I could barely breathe. I thought, I'll just look at nature; I don't have to walk in it. I can't believe the limited mindset I had. What was I thinking? I feel so much more confident and capable now.
This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Josh Axe and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Axe nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.
Tofu and meat substitutes - Soy products are a bit controversial in the keto community. Some dieters claim that phytoestrogens and antinutrients in soy could have a negative effect on health and nutrition. On the other hand, soy is a rare plant source of all essential amino acids, making it a valuable vegan-friendly food. While soy milk may be high in carbs, tofu only has around 2 grams net carbs in a 7 oz. serving.
“You will likely lose weight on this diet, and if that’s your only goal, then great,” says Bailey. “However, this diet is extremely hard to achieve and maintain. It eliminates a lot of really beneficial foods, such as whole grains and starchy vegetables. Based on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet, one would need to consume 165 grams of fat, 25 grams of carbs, and 100 grams of protein. This is unrealistic and also very unhealthy for our bodies,” she says.
And speaking of working out, if you’re a gym rat or avid runner, prepare for your workouts to suck for a while until your body fully adapts to the diet. If you’re cutting out carbs for the first time, your body will need two weeks or more (and sometimes months) to fully support the demands of exercise with ketones. And if you’ve been relying on animal products, you may find it difficult to recover without the full array of amino acids that every serving of animal protein provides. You’ve chosen a hard road to travel, nutritionally, but don’t lose heart. Time and persistence will force your body to accommodate just about any regimen you subject it to, and there are plenty of people whose performance has thrived on unconventional diets.
I’m trying a new(ish) tactic, where I build in cheat days, trying to keep my metabolism guessing a little. On those cheat days, I eat whatever I want without overstuffing myself and I drink soda, too if I want to. That helps me feel like I’m not totally depriving myself the whole time. I can already tell that I do eat so much healthier as an overall whole, than I used to. I was getting into some seriously bad habits of snacking on sweets, carbs and soda any time I wanted to, without thinking of the consequences. The only problem was that those wants were getting more and more frequent. The desire for sugar seemed to be growing, the more I gave myself sugar.
“I have had people I’ve known for years but haven’t seen in awhile not recognize me. I love that. I love the way I feel, the way clothes fit, and being able to shop in regular clothing stores. Mostly I stay motivated for the years, days, hours and minutes I’m hopefully putting on the end of my life. I’ve got two adult daughters and amazing wife, and I want to be here with them for as long as possible.” #keto